At yesterday's Student Learning Committee meeting, Ms Santorno told the Committee that the Superintendent will postpone his decision to split middle school APP. She told them that the District is very busy with a number of other tasks and that this matter can be addressed later as it is not urgent.
I would like to direct the attention of the public, the Board, and any future board members to how Mr. Manhas and his staff conducted themselves throughout this affair.
First of all, they refused to engage the community throughout. They refused to meet with the APP Advisory Committee. When they did meet, they refused to talk. They refused to participate in any dialog at all. For ten months, the District staff refused to answer even the most fundamental questions about the process. Staff, including Ms Santorno, promised to share their thinking with the community – they never did. They never consulted with the APP community, the Washington community, or the Hamilton community. They did not include public input as a factor in their decision. We know this because they provided a decision-making tool and it did not include public input. Even when asked for a more complete and detailed listing of the pros and cons of their decision, public input was not inlcuded as a factor in the decision.
Second, when the Superintendent and his staff produced their decision it was in direct violation with District Policy. They didn’t bother to check the Policy as part of their process. When confronted with their policy violation, they claimed that they are not bound by Policy.
The Superintendent claims that he wants to make the District’s culture more open, honest, transparent, engaged and accountable. Not one of those values was represented at any time in this process. In fact, I cannot think of a single instance in which Mr. Manhas or his staff ever did a single thing in support of these values. It seems to me that the Board is responsible for every improvement we have made in these directions.
So look and notice well, Board members. Look and notice well future Board members. The Superintendent and his staff routinely ignore Policies. The Board is a policymaking body. If the Policies are ignored, then the Board is superfluous. The staff truly believe themselves unaccountable to the Board.
The Superintendent and his staff do not act in support of the values they claim to hold. They do not act in support of the Vision set forth by the Board. They are contemptuous of the Board.
Even now, after the Board Review revealed the grotesque failure represented by this decision, the Superintendent and his staff are only postponing it. They haven’t taken one step away from it. They aren’t even leaning away from it. Their arrogance is breathtaking.